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Cisco Cloudverse, Hypervisors, Partners and Real Cloud Deployments

I have had many customers and partners ask me about Cisco Cloudverse in the past 2 weeks.  One of the top questions I get asked is whether we support other hypervisors besides VMware.  Lew Tucker in his interview in Information week covered it well:  http://www.informationweek.com/news/cloud-computing/infrastructure/232300123 .  Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud works well with many hypervisors and we have seen many successful clouds built on vCenter, HyperV, and Linux KVM.  We find many customers look at multiple hypervisors to prevent vendor lock-in and all the issues associated with that.  The world of many clouds is indeed a complex place as organizations building a private cloud have to decide on:

  • Hypervisor(s)
  • Server Vendor(s)
  • Network Vendor(s)
  • Storage Vendor(s)
  • Whether to use a converged infrastructure model or not
  • Cloud Automation software, (will the virtualization vendor’s software be enough for a pragmatic cloud?)
  • IaaS, PaaS or SaaS, or all of these models
  • Integrations into pre-existing IT operations management tools
  • What to expose in the Front Office (Service Catalog and Self Service Portal)
  • Details of the Back office (automation workflows, policies, models)
  • Whether to have any hybrid cloud models deployed.

I have seen Cisco Partners play a strategic role in helping their customers make sense of this complex playing field.  They key item is to first understand what type of cloud an organization wants to deploy and what the Front Office should look like.  Oftentimes I find organizations have a lot of opinions and pre-existing work on the technical provisioning, but have not thought much about what to present to end users / consumers of the cloud.  Focusing on what the Cloud Portal would present to the ultimate consumers is really where the transformation to cloud needs to start.  We tend to get wrapped around the axle with all the details of the infrastructure provisioning and leave little time to the end user experience.  That is a really a career limiting move when it comes to your organization adopting cloud.

Our Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud solution, a key element of Cisco Unified Management, is a new paradigm for Cloud Automation and Management, derived from the leverage of newScale, Tidal, and Linesider acquisitions.  It is both a policy and orchestration centric solution than can solve pragmatic cloud deployment needs, versus simply adopting one model (such as vCloud Director).   The following figure details the considerations of policy and console based solutions versus catalog and orchestration centric solutions:

Virtually all of the customer conversations I have highlight the fact that customers want both Physical and Virtual provisioning and cloud automation.  This is where Cisco Unified Management  which includes the Cisco UCS Manager for Physical Server “virtualization” and Cisco Network Services Management for Physical and Virtual Network Services “virtualization”.  These two technologies, alongside the Cisco Cloud Portal and the Cisco Process Orchestrator are key for creating both a physical and virtual cloud.  This is what the most pragmatic of customers are looking for when transform to cloud.  It is indeed a universe of clouds and Cisco can help.

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Public Sector Experts Weigh In on Virtual Desktops and the New Virtual Workspace

Have you ever sat in on a TelePresence meeting? It really makes you think about how technology can make distance disappear, and bring together people across a wide geography for the purpose of collaborating and sharing ideas.  Such is the case with the National Townhall on Desktop Virtualization I participated in recently, along with VMware.

Seven industry experts from seven US cities, discussing the impact or key learnings of implementing desktop virtualization in government, healthcare and education.  I was joined by my colleague Chris Westphal of VMware, and our panelists, bringing firsthand experiences of their journey to desktop virtualization.  If you want to attend the interactive webcast of this event, please click here – I think you’ll find it incrementally valuable if you’re on the verge of a pilot, proof of concept or just researching your options.

This experience reminded me of something important regarding the transformation of the user desktop as we know it. Immersive business video is increasingly becoming a modality of enterprise collaboration that workers will depend on to be productive.  Consider the fact that ten people had meaningful discourse in this session, without any of them having to board a plane.  IP telephony is the same – we can’t imagine a day without access to our phone.  So when we talk about using virtual desktops making people more productive, and making business more agile, it makes total sense that we expect by extension of that premise, voice, video and virtual desktops to converge in a single workspace that’s accessible on any device, anywhere.  We depend on all of these modalities to be effective, not just one.

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Register to Attend the National Town Hall for the Next Generation Workplace

Join your government, education and healthcare peers at the National Town Hall for the Next Generation Workplace event December 15 co-sponsored by Cisco and VMware. This townhall will be hosted online with participants joining via 10 TelePresence locations across the US. 

During this free interactive virtual discussion, government, education, and healthcare leaders will share their experiences deploying virtual desktops and the transition to the virtual workplace including specific concerns relative to desktop management, security, policy, and desktop delivery, and gaining control of desktop TCO.    The Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI)  is an end-to-end, tested system that delivers the next generation virtual workspace by unifying virtual desktops, voice, and video.   

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Welcoming former RSA Security and VMware leader Chris Young to Cisco as our New Security Group Leader

As our customers and partners well know, security has been front-of-mind for Cisco this year. As far back as February, our CEO John Chambers announced that security was to become a top engineering priority for the company. The pace of innovation and development has been rapid ever since.

During the year, we unveiled our context-aware distributed security solution, Secure X, introduced the Cisco Identity Services Engine to simplify management of organization-wide security policies, and we brought new security to branch offices by adding Cisco ISR Cloud Web Security to the Cisco ISR G2 branch router.

We also elevated the role of our amazing Cisco Threat Operations Centers in helping customers chart the escalation and sophistication of security threats designed to exploit new business models that emphasize mobility, social collaboration and cloud computing.

Even with all of this momentum in security, we still saw opportunities to do more; to move faster; and to address our customers’ security challenges more completely.

It’s with those goals in mind, that I am delighted to announce today a senior executive appointment to further strengthen Cisco’s security business. For the first time, the security engineering team will be led by an SVP, reporting directly to me. We are pleased to share that Chris Young will be joining Cisco in on November 14th to fill this new leadership role.

Chris is an outstanding technology, business and security industry leader. He joins us from VMware, where he was Senior Vice President and General Manager, responsible for strategy, products, engineering and delivery across all of VMware’s end user computing solutions.

Prior to joining VMware, Chris served as Senior Vice President, products at RSA, the Security Division of EMC, where he was responsible for strategy, product management, product marketing, engineering and delivery of products across all of RSA’s Identity and Access Assurance, Security Information and Event Management, Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC), and Data Security solutions.

While at RSA, he built the company’s highly successful Identity Protection and Verification business, which includes products such as RSA Adaptive Authentication that today protects more than 200 million online bank accounts globally. Chris’ role grew to include responsibility for all products in the RSA portfolio and during his tenure he led several successful acquisitions, including Cyota Inc., Passmark and Archer Technologies among others.

Chris will assume responsibility for a new integrated security engineering team and for Cisco’s overall security vision. His new team combines our security technologies group and our global government security solutions into a single entity.

As we welcome Chris, we say goodbye to Tom Gillis, VP of our security technologies business unit. Tom joined Cisco through our acquisition of Ironport and has been instrumental in driving our overall security business thus far. Tom is keen to pursue his entrepreneurial passion outside Cisco. We thank Tom for his leadership and wish him well in his future endeavors.

We said during our Q2 earnings call that we would continue to take further actions that allow us to address market transitions with greater speed, agility and consistency. Today’s news is a good example of that commitment: we are evolving our operating model and investing in and strengthening our team with new talent in the process. We look forward to welcoming you to Cisco, Chris!

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Part 2 of “A deeper dive into Cisco VXI finds Cisco WAAS”

Dateline Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.  Citrix Summit and Synergy, October 2011
Hi again,
Last post I said I’d get back to you to give you, at least, my opinion of why Citrix and Cisco are partnering up.  As you might have seen from the dateline above, it’s easy to find out when you get to Citrix Summit and Synergy.  It has to do with the global and ubiquitous Cisco networks deployed by organizations everywhere.  Citrix is doing great with XenApp (last I heard, well over 50,000,000 licenses) and is poised to do even better with XenDesktop.

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